News & Multimedia

Johanna Long: All Access

Welcome to my first blog entry for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to write about my experiences so far in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as my journey leading up to the Indy 250 with ML Motorsports. This year has been filled with many first time experiences, challenges and tons of excitement and I couldn’t be more eager to share it with all of you.

I’ll give you all a quick background of my career so far in racing. My dad raced Late Models when I was a little girl, so I grew up around the sport and absolutely loved everything about it. I started begging my dad to put me in a go-kart when I was five, but it took a few years of convincing him before he would give me a shot behind the wheel. When I turned eight, my dad took me to a go-kart track in Baker, FL which was a mistake on his part because I was NOT leaving without a go-kart or some type of agreement that he would let me race. He finally gave in and from that point forward I started racing and I haven’t turned back since.

My dad moved me up to the Late Model series at age 14, and by the time I was 17, I had many wins and a couple of championships under my belt. When I turned 18, my dad started his own NASCAR truck team to give me that final opportunity to reach my long-time dream of making it to the elite level, but with limited funding it was extremely tough to get to the track week in and week out so we ended up doing a partial schedule in 2011. Over the offseason, I was unsure about my future in racing because our family team was only promised five races. Then, I was introduced to Mary Louise Miller, team owner of Warsaw, Indiana based NASCAR team, ML Motorsports. We both had similar goals and were eager to pave the way for women in racing, so we hit it off really well.

My dream of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series became a reality over the offseason as I signed with ML Motorsports to a 21-race schedule for the 2012 season. It was an awesome feeling to have someone believe in me enough to give me this opportunity. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be 20 years old racing at this level with the most talented drivers in the world at amazing tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It has been a huge learning curve considering this is my rookie year. It has been all about learning the Nationwide Series cars as well as the tracks that I’ve never been to.  My main objectives are to learn and gain as much seat time and experience that I possibly can, while proving that I belong in this series. It’s extremely important to me as a driver to gain respect from my fellow competitors, the media and fans. So far, I feel like I’m gaining that respect one race at a time, which is rewarding in itself.

I’m now nine races into my season, and I feel pretty optimistic about my performances and future races. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not content with where I’m currently at, but I feel like our team continuously progresses at each race that we attend and we are anxious to continue that momentum.

I hope you all have enjoyed reading my first blog. I can write for days, but I will stop and save some of my thoughts for next week’s blog. I will call this entry my “Intro Blog.” My next blog will be all about my experiences and challenges so far in the Nationwide Series as well as my quest leading up to the Indy250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting EXCITED! 

-Johanna
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Johanna Long: All Access
 
Johanna Long: All Access
Read More
Related Media
Indianapolis 500
 
USA Today's 10Best Readers Choice Voting Open for 'Best Motorsports Race,' 'Best NASCAR Track'
Voting is now open for USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice in the “Best Motorsports Race” and “Best NASCAR Track,” with IMS featured in each.
Read More
2016 Indy 500 Logo
 
IMS Offers Special Ticket Discounts for 2016 Indianapolis 500 Fans
As a thank you to the greatest race fans in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
Read More
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Montoya Earns $2.4 Million for Winning 99th Indianapolis 500
Juan Pablo Montoya earned $2,449,055 from an overall purse of $13,397,315 for his victory Sunday, May 24, in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Montoya Wins Thrilling Indianapolis 500
Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier in his first start, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by .1046 of a second -- the fourth-closest finish in race history -- in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in those 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second.
Read More
Charlie Kimball
 
Kimball Surprises as Ganassi's Top Fighter in '500'
Kimball had never finished better than eighth in four previous Indy 500 starts, but when Dixon faltered late due to an understeer, the door was open for third place. Kimball took advantage of Dixon lifting off the throttle with two laps to go.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,941
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice voting for “Best Motorsports Race” and “Best NASCAR Track”, vote early and often! http://t.co/NVIt7FKiZY
about 18 minutes ago